What’s the probability that you’ll remember every piece of content that you’ve consumed today? With so much marketing material in the world, today’s audience needs sticky content to retain their attention and convince them to re-visit your website.
If the IAB’s South Africa Online Annual Wrap Up Of 2020 is anything to go by, South Africans spent 2020 searching for content that would inform, entertain, give them topics to talk about with friends and family, and allowed them an opportunity to escape from reality with a variety of videos and podcasts.
Some notable insights quoted from the report
News sites in general dominated the top 10 list of biggest sites measured by Narratiive.
This is to be expected as we were (and still are) dealing with a pandemic. Stuck at home, South Africans went online for information around the Covid-19 virus, jobs, and government regulations.
BusinessTech climbed the most spots from 11th biggest site in 2019 to 4th biggest site in 2020.
With the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown affecting the South African economy and the companies which operate in it, up-to-date and in-depth business news was crucial in 2020.
Broadcast Media was the biggest climber and jumped from 8th place in 2019 to 4th place in 2020. This includes publications that have a multi-channel publishing approach and typically are websites of a TV channel or radio station. This speaks to an uptake of cross-channel content consumption and users engaging with a broadcaster across multiple channels throughout the day.
From surveys conducted in Levels 5, 3 and 2, East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM noted an increase in streaming and radio listening as people searched for news about the pandemic, music, advertising from their favourite brands, and to be entertained.
Jacaranda FM ended December with more than 1.1-million unique browsers. This is a 10% increase from the November 2020 performance and a 6.7% increase YoY (Narratiive, Dec 2020).
To make content “stickier”, the digital team utilised the Pinpoll DMP tool for a variety of campaigns and content pieces (online competitions, quizzes, and polls). As a result, the bounce rate dropped by 6%.
This brings us to 2021 and time to reflect on the year that was, learn from it, and plan for the future. Is your brand planning a content overhaul? The start of a new year brings about change for many businesses that want to improve their inbound marketing performance; sticky content marketing should be part of that plan.
Since the infamous Facebook algorithm update back in 2018 where Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that Facebook favours personal over branded creatives, a lot of publishers have been forced to rethink their strategy.
Publishers who relied too heavily on Facebook and used it as a place where they could just dump their articles for their readers have experienced great loses in traffic and engagement, which inevitably started to negatively reflect on their overall businesses.
Not all content needs to be shared everywhere. And not all content is suitable for every social media platform.
Sticky content works by growing your bottom line – glueing the eyes of your valuable followers to everything from your email marketing, website posts, video and audio production, to your social media campaigns.
Sticky content shares some common characteristics. A recommended read, Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath, explores this topic of sticky ideas for content marketing and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.
Sticky content generates return readers
Most of the daily websites we use do not hold our attention longer than the next click. For website owners, sticky content is crucial to maintaining an audience and keeping readers on your site longer. But how you do it is key.
Measures like bounce rate, time on page, and conversions are important metrics. If these numbers aren’t up to par, you might consider exploring new ways to quickly engage visitors and compel them to keep reading or viewing.
Active website visitors are better website visitors because they stay longer on the page and consume more content with each visit. Both factors – longer session duration and more page views, have a direct impact on advertising revenue.
Think of your stories as invisible sticky notes that follow someone around for the day after they’ve visited your website. Your content will stay with them, be shared or become the topic at the dinner table.
Website content that makes your site sticky is informative, it involves your audience and turns them into participants. By making your visitors part of your website, they will talk about it to their friends and keep coming back for more. If a reader is unable to get into a story, they won’t feel like participants.
Granted, you can’t please everyone, but if it’s everyone that’s not interested, you need to revise how your offering. Gamification is a subset of creating sticky content. Things like polls, quizzes, voting, competitions, games, even the comment section where the trolls frequent, work in your favour if done right.
Whatever your aims or plans might be for content marketing, it’s important to know the elements that make up sticky content if you want to set yourself up for success.
Good sticky content is: emotional, credible, easy to consume, and sharable.
Post stories that will have an impact on your reader because it’s something they can relate to or a story that they will feel compassion for. When your readers engage, they likely spend more time with your content and on your site. Usually this means they have connected on some sort of emotional level.
Love them or hate them, posts in list form do extremely well with website visitors. Create list posts that provide value for your audience. Each point should be unique, helpful, interesting, or valuable. A truly engaging how-to post needs a list of steps, pictures, and in-depth descriptions to make readers trust your advice, follow your directions, and, ultimately, stay on the page.
Every word on the page should make the user want to keep reading. Every word should lead them to the call to action.
Let’s face it, people usually read comments before bothering to read a story or watch a video. So, the more positive comments your piece has, the more likely the person will click, read the article, and indulge themselves.
1. Make ideas memorable
2. Make content shareable
Everything you post on your website is either a hit or miss. Opt for high quality over high quantity.
If you’re going to write or post about something that’s already all over the web, make sure yours is the best. Do what’s different from all of the other sites. If you don’t, your website will just be another website within the millions there are. Include videos, quotes, opinion, etc. Post content that users don’t already know about.
If your content isn’t getting the engagement and traction you hoped for, chances are it isn’t valuable to your audience. A good content strategy always starts with your readers, which means writing about topics that appeal to them. If they find value in it, they’ll most likely share it.
Use words that drive action. In December, Jacaranda FM carried the WhatsApp changes that would affect certain phones. The story received 486 952 page views on the website.
The CTA: WhatsApp will stop working on older smartphones from 1 January 2021. Check out the full list below!
Create fun games or quizzes for your audience to engage in.
While most South African publications carried the Ballito Rage story as a hard news piece, East Coast Radio went a step further and included listener opinion through a poll. The poll received 2 000 votes.
Remember, sticky content keeps users coming back! Award small prizes for your readers to win from these polls, games or quizzes. This is a great way for people to come back and check your website daily.
Create the right content for the different social media channels.
Depending on the type of information you distribute and the type of readers you have, certain social networks might not work for you. Facebook and Instagram have proven themselves to be much better playing fields for entertainment media websites. Dedicate some time and budget to getting your content seen through paid, organic or social promotion. Don’t know where to start? One way is to repurpose the content that has driven the most traffic and leads, and promote that content on your social media accounts.
Would you describe your content marketing as rubber or glue?
Platforms may come and go, but one thing will never change: publishers who succeed do so by being able to connect the audience with the article at the right time, in the best way.
Charis Apelgren-Coleman is the market engagement manager at Kagiso Media Radio. She has worked with small and large local organisations as well as large multinational organisations, while managing specialist content teams.
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